3 dead, 12 injured in shootout at Los Angeles restaurant

Los Angeles police investigators work the scene of a fatal shooting in the Crenshaw District neighborhood of Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.  According to police an early morning argument at a restaurant triggered gunfire.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Los Angeles police investigators work the scene of a fatal shooting in the Crenshaw District neighborhood of Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. According to police an early morning argument at a restaurant triggered gunfire. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES, CA (AP) – Police say an early morning argument at a Los Angeles restaurant apparently triggered a gun battle that left 3 people dead and 12 wounded.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez says that two possible suspects are being questioned.

The shooting was apparently triggered by an argument in the restaurant, which was operating out of a converted house.

Lopez says a preliminary investigation finds a party was underway at the restaurant at 12:30 a.m. Saturday when an argument started.

He says a man and woman left the building, then returned and the shooting started.

Three people died at the scene.

Police say 12 people were brought to local hospitals. Their conditions ranged from critical to stable but serious.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is calling the shooting the latest example of senseless gun violence in America.

Garcetti expressed sympathy for the victims’ families in a statement Saturday. He says he’s confident that police will unravel questions about the shooting that occurred about 12:30 a.m. Saturday on a residential street of modest homes west of downtown.

Garcetti says the country must do more to stop easy access to firearms and punish those who use them in crimes.

The mayor says “we cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America.”

LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado tells The Los Angeles Times that the restaurant was “a bloody scene with shell casings everywhere.”

One firearm was recovered.

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